That earlier post about Caroline Aherne, creator of The Royle Family, set me thinking about bygone days, and prompted me to dig out one of my favourite family photos. I took it in 1978, when I was back home after my first term at university. My Mum was always extremely self-conscious about posing for pictures (as I am) but this time I caught her off-guard. Sitting across from her is Maurice, who was a sort of step-father to me, although I would never have dreamed of calling him that. He was an ex-paratrooper, and a lovely, sweet-mannered guy. Mum, who died nearly three years ago, was always more keen on listening to the radio than watching TV, which is why there's a wireless in front of her.
My happiest sofa memory from those days? The Christmas afternoon when I saw It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World for the first time, on BBC1, some time around 1976. Two and a half hours of blissful anarchy. It's gratifying to know that, thirty years later, my kids love it every bit as much as I do.